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Campaigns | Better pensions

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MPs warn of potential pensions mis-selling scandal

Six months on from the introduction of new pension freedoms, the House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee has warned of the next major pensions mis-selling scandal.

The report says there needs to be stronger support for pension savers so that they don't fall victim to mis-selling.

Recommendations include providing more anti-scam publicity and reducing complex pricing structures for savers trying to withdraw funds.

Pension Wise comes under scrutiny

The fact that the Government's free pensions guidance service Pension Wise has had a lower than expected take-up was also covered by the Committee.

The report makes a number of recommendations about this, including stronger sign-posting to the service by pension providers and an online 'pensions' dashboard to let people see all their pensions savings in one place. Many of the Committee's recommendations echo the suggestions we made in our submission to the inquiry.

We call for effective guidance

Our executive director Richard Lloyd said:

'Access to advice is fundamental to the success of the new pension freedoms, so it's good to see the Committee recommending the Government moves quickly to improve Pension Wise so it provides the easily accessible, impartial and personalised guidance people need.

'Consumers should also have the full picture on their savings, so we welcome the Committee recognising the importance of a pensions dashboard.

'The Committee is also right to flag costly and complex charges as an issue, and the Government must focus on this as it works with regulators and industry to ensure everyone can make the most of the new freedoms.'

Our Better Pensions campaign calls on the Government, pension providers and regulators to protect people when they take money out of their pension.


Over 55s fear pension scams - Which? research

Our research finds that a third of over 55s have been contacted about their pension by companies that could be frauds, yet many aren't sure they can spot a genuine investment and four in ten think they could fall victim to a scam.

Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd, said:

'Recent pension reforms have given people welcome freedom to access their money as they wish, but this has also made millions of pounds more accessible to scammers. Anyone who is approached by a company they’re unsure about should do some research into the firm and be careful not to rush into any decisions. 

'We want the government and regulators to do more to warn people about these types of tricks and do all they can to stamp out the sharks behind them.'

Pensions - most common sales pitches

- investment opportunities (21%)
- a free pension review (16%)
- unlock your pension (13%)
- access your pension pot early (13%)

With a rise in the number of people being contacted in recent months, people should be on their guard if they’re approached out of the blue and think very carefully before handing over any money.

Sign our Better pensions petition; support our call for the government and regulators to do more to protect people when they take money out of their pension.

What you need to know about your pension choices
How to spot a potential pension scam


Government cracks down on hidden pension charges

The Government has committed to greater transparency on hidden pension charges in a win for our Hands off my Pension campaign.


Pension fees cap for auto-enrolment schemes

Pensions Minister Steve Webb has launched a consultation on capping pension scheme charges for employees signed up under auto-enrolment. He is considering an outright ban on all charges above 0.75%.

Unfair workplace pension charges… banned!

We lobbied the Government for a ban on consultancy charges for work place pensions and won.

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